While covering the Nashville school shooting on Monday, a local reporter shared she knows exactly what the children are going through.
A 28-year-old shot and killed three children and three teachers at The Covenant School, a private Christian school for children in preschool through to 12 years old. The shooter was later found and shot dead by police.
Joylyn Bukovac, a reporter on the scene for WSMV 4, was in the middle of live coverage when she shared that she had survived a school shooting as a child.
“This is something that hits very close to home for me. Many of you might not know this, but I am actually a school shooting survivor,” Bukovac said.
She went on to say that her middle school was one of nearly 380 school shootings in the US that had occurred since the 1999 Columbine High School attack.
She said the most recent shooting brought up “a lot of tough memories” and acknowledged that she wouldn’t be the only one feeling upset.
“Some people have been reaching out to me saying, ‘Enough is enough’, ‘When is all this gun violence going to change?’ and that’s a really good question that we’re going to keep on asking.”
In the first 42 days of 2023, there were 72 mass shootings in the United States with gun violence being the leading killer for US children, 7News reports.
During her coverage, Bukovac shared some advice for families whose children survived the shooting, saying that her own experience taught her that every child processes the trauma differently.
“I wasn’t really ready to talk about it for two years really. So just give them some time. If they’re not ready to talk, don’t be overly concerned. Everyone copes in their own way, so just really be there for them and open up that line of communication.”
Following her on-air coverage, Bukovac tweeted that “reporting on a school shooting as a school shooting survivor and now as a mum has been indescribably heartbreaking”.
She also thanked viewers for their support after hearing her story and urged them to stand against gun violence.
“I appreciate all the support I’ve received after sharing my story. I don’t talk about it much, but I think about what happened often. I just want people to know they aren’t alone … I also want to discuss solutions. As a mum, I am worried for the future.”